Courtesy of Wittmier "I think I have a relationship with my morning coffee," said Lisa Wittmier. "As soon as I make my first cup of coffee, I feel like I can seize the day."
Thirty-seven-year-old Wittmier is a single mother of two, a first year pharmacy student as well as a pharmacy intern at Sid’s Professional Pharmacy at Pullman Care Community.
Her everyday schedule looks something like this:
7:30 a.m.: Wittmier and her kids leave for school.
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Class, then work immediately after.
6:30 p.m.: Wittmier goes home to make dinner and be with her family.
7:30 p.m.: Wittmier starts on her homework.
Then, she wakes up the next morning and starts again.
It could be argued that the Energizer Bunny has absolutely met his match.
So with a schedule like this one, Wittmier was asked if she gets a moment during the week to unwind or be social.
"Sundays are my day to get caught up on schoolwork, clean and do laundry," she said. "I do some fun things - I’ll go to the Zzu, get tacos and just try to be social about once a week.
Prioritizing is difficult but very important, she said. She has four years left in this program, so in a way she has to make school the first priority, she said. But when the situation calls her to be a mom, she has missed class to attend to her kids. For example, her son recently needed his wisdom teeth out, and she missed class to travel to Spokane and get the procedure done with a doctor her insurance would cover.
Teachers understand, she said, but students who are mothers as well definitely don’t get any special treatment - they are still students first.
The financial part of being a working pharmacy student and single mother of two is rough, she said.
Back to school shopping for a 14-year-old like Wittmier's her daughter, is probably as exciting as getting a first kiss.
Wittmier said the shopping won’t happen for a while.
“I get about the same amount of money from FAFSA as many of my classmates do, and they have roommates and no kids,” she said.
But Wittmier certainly expressed her love for being a mom to her kids. Her daughter is a very confident little girl, she said.
“She is very strong-willed, and if she wants something, she goes after it,” Wittmier said.
Her son, 17, is considering attending WSU after graduating from high school. Wittmier watches football with her son and takes him to Paradise Creek Brewery every week for Trivia Night.
When asked at the end of the interview how she does it all, she said, “I don’t know, but I’m doing it every day.”
So, as James Brown once said, “This is a man's, a man's, a man's world, but it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”
BREAK OUT BOX
You know those moments when you fantasize about what you might do to someone that really just chaps your behind? Well I recently had one of those moments, however my questionable intentions actually led to the real thing. What happened was this boy was making seriously offensive remarks about women in the work force, and I happened to be holding a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone that was roughly the size of a baguette. As his legs began to form a 90-degree angle, I took one look at my baguette-ice cream cone and one look at the space between his Dickie’s shorts and the bench and made a quick decision: my baguette ice cream cone belonged in that space.
I’m not saying that it was necessarily the “right thing to do," but I will say I had some satisfaction in taking action on behalf of all the irritated women at the table. Why did I have the cojones to give someone an ice-cream-in-the-pants? It was my purple skirt. You see, for whatever reason my purple skirt gives me the confidence to do things that I wouldn’t normally do. Not that I consistently make people sit in ice cream, but from that day forward my purple skirt was my symbol of confidence.
So you, reader, are currently reading the pilot to my Purple Skirt series, which will feature a new woman every week by looking at life through her eyes and exploring the confidence within each inspiring lady.